Amino-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes lead to successful ring-opening polymerization of poLY(ε-caprolactone): Enhanced interfacial bonding and optimized mechanical properties

Eleftheria Roumeli, Dimitrios G. Papageorgiou, Vasilios Tsanaktsis, Zoe Terzopoulou, Konstantinos Chrissafis, Apostolos Avgeropoulos, Dimitrios N. Bikiaris

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    In this work, the synthesis, structural characteristics, interfacial bonding, and mechanical properties of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) nanocomposites with small amounts (0.5, 1.0, and 2.5 wt %) of amino-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (f-MWCNTs) prepared by ring-opening polymerization (ROP) are reported. This method allows the creation of a covalent-bonding zone on the surface of nanotubes, which leads to efficient debundling and therefore satisfactory dispersion and effective load transfer in the nanocomposites. The high covalent grafting extent combined with the higher crystallinity provide the basis for a significant enhancement of the mechanical properties, which was detected in the composites with up to 1 wt % f-MWCNTs. Increasing filler concentration encourages intrinsic aggregation forces, which allow only minor grafting efficiency and poorer dispersion and hence inferior mechanical performance. f-MWCNTs also cause a significant improvement on the polymerization reaction of PCL. Indeed, the in situ polymerization kinetics studies reveal a significant decrease in the reaction temperature, by a factor of 30-40 °C, combined with accelerated the reaction kinetics during initiation and propagation and a drastically reduced effective activation energy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11683-11694
    Number of pages12
    JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
    Volume7
    Issue number21
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2015

    Keywords

    • in situ polymerization
    • mechanical properties
    • multiwalled carbon nanotubes
    • nanocomposites
    • poly(ε-caprolactone)

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • National Graphene Institute

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